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Karl Marx has been the subject of countless biographies and his writings have been adapted to the purposes of those on both the Left and Right. In this new biography, however, Sperber (history, Univ. of Missouri; The European Revolutions: 1848-1851) asks us to step back from our contemporary views of Marx and instead see him through the prism of his own life and time. Sperber argues that to understand Marx's ideas, it is not enough to know their intellectual content and context; it is also necessary to understand them within the framework of his historical period. Considering Marx's relationship to the major events of his era, including the French Revolution, European politics in the 1840s, and English industrialization, says Sperber, gives readers a nuanced and deeper understanding of his theories. -VERDICT Written for a popular but thoughtful audience, this biography is lively and readable yet retains the authority of an author who thoroughly understands his sources and subject. Highly recommended.-Jessica Moran, Metropolitan Transportation Commission-Assoc. of Bay Area Govts. Lib., Oakland, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.